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Book Expo…. Anticipation

May 23, 2011

Greetings from the press room at BEA. Not much has started yet. The exhibitors are getting set up. The remainders pavilion is tantalizing. (Glorious one-of-a-kind quirky books for under $5 each!) I am trying to restrain myself.

Being surrounded by books and people who love them is enough to make me grin, and grin, and grin.

I’ve already met interesting people- a few of my fellow journalists/bloggers in the press room and at the press conference.

The press conference was mainly an overview, welcoming the press, but also highlighting something that’s been on every book lover’s mind. What are the bst ways for books, publishers and authors, to engage in the digital world?

Steve Rosato, Show Manager for BookExpo America, observed: “It’s hardly news to anyone that there have been changes in the book industry… Even with the impact of technology, coming together under one roof to have a conversation is still valuable.
“This business is still an integral, important part of American culture.”

Tom Allen, Chief Executive Officer of the Association of American Publishers sounded optimistic. “Two years ago, the mood was troubled. There was widespread concern. Today there is optimism,” he said, about e-readers and the economy as a whole, sparking movement and vitality in what he called the publishing “ecosystem,” though he had a few grim things to say about piracy and distribution of media. “Rogue websites,” he said ominously “facilitate pirated content,” and threaten business.

Watching the exhibit floor get set up is the worst kind of tantalizing. Row upon row of boooooooks… All cordoned off until tomorrow! Ack!

To say nothing of the social media conference which will be starting tomorrow as well.

This is going to be a very, very good week.

But tomorrow is when the delicious, gigantic, overwhelming fun starts.

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